The Conservative Government has reduced the budget of Redcar and Cleveland Council so severely that we have been forced to make over £90 million in cuts since 2010. Their plan is to remove direct government funding entirely and leave us with Council Tax and Business Rate revenue. This has made it a real struggle to continue to deliver services to residents as we and they would wish. The easy savings have long since been made, and every further pound in savings now is cutting deeper into front-line services. The decisions get much harder to take, especially when the social effects of Austerity are also increasing demand for services, such as placements for Looked After Children, which have gone up by 50%. The suffering caused by Austerity is combined with the decreasing ability of local authorities to prevent it.